When you’re renting a place, you’re the person who has to live through any issues or quirks in the space you’re living in. By law, landlords are required to fix and cover the cost of any emergency repairs that could jeopardize the renter’s health and safety.
It’s important for renters to understand what would be considered to be an emergency repair and how they should proceed.
When a renter discovers a problem, their first step is to contact the landlord, at least twice, whether it’s by phone or email. Renters should take note of when they attempted to get in touch and they should allow for a reasonable amount of time for the landlord to get back to them.
Meanwhile, if the landlord is unavailable and the tenant needs to have the repair done as soon as possible because the issue is causing damage to their personal belongings or is dangerous to their health, they can authorize a repair, but they must hold onto any paperwork.
A tenant can ask the contractors to bill the landlord directly, but if they require payment once the job is completed, a tenant must hold onto any receipts related to the job and ask the landlord to be reimbursed.
If a landlord gets in touch with the tenant while repairs are underway, they can choose to let the repairs continue and reimburse the tenant or pay the contractor for the amount of work they’ve done and find someone else to do the repairs.
Tenants should keep in mind that they should only pay for repairs that are considered be an emergency because if the repair isn’t, the landlord can refuse to reimburse tenants for the cost of the job.
Also, if you live in a condominium or townhouse and a unit surrounding you has a problem, such as a water leak that’s affecting your unit, contact your on-site property manager or concierge since the people may be away. The property manager can get into the unit immediately and shut off a water valve, which will hopefully prevent further damage to that unit, as well as your own. Once you’ve done this, contact your landlord immediately so that he can contact his insurance company, if needed.
A few examples of emergency repairs include:
- A broken heater when it’s cold outside.
- The refrigerator stops working.
- A short circuit in the wiring which could lead to a fire.
- Backed up sewage system causing flooding in the premises.
- Broken pipes causing flooding.
A few examples of non-emergency repairs:
- A minor leak in the roof or one of the pipes.
- Slow drainage of the sink.
- One of the doors inside the property won’t close properly.
- A cracked window pane on a higher floor.
Renters may not know this, but when damage to the property, such as a flood or a fire, destroys their belongings, the tenants are typically liable for the damage, not the landlord. This is why it’s in a tenant’s best interest to buy content insurance to protect themselves.
Renting Toronto has been in the business of placing competent, qualified tenants in owners and landlord’s properties since 1999. Our company has full time dedicated agents renting properties on behalf of owners and owners have the final say on all prospective tenants. Our website receives thousands of hits monthly and as a Homeowner or Landlord you can display your rental property on our website at a very low cost compared to our competitors!